A teenager discovered that her deceased sister had a secret significant other who was not aware of her death.
Redditor “ctvyughjco2293201” and her older sister—a surviving twin of the late sister—were sorting through the deceased’s belongings and found that her phone had messages of concern from this mysterious individual.
Imagine for a moment that someone you care deeply about has suddenly stopped responding to your calls and texts. You might wonder if they emotionally moved on. Or you might fear the worst.
The lack of having any sense of closure could be a painful burden to live with.
The Original Poster (OP) and her elder sibling argued over whether the next course of action should be inaction.
The OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) and asked WIBTA (Would I be the A**hole) for contacting her dead sister’s significant other.
“My sister died late last year. I don’t want to go into detail, so I’d really appreciate no questions about it in the comments, but we’ve finally reached the stage where we can start putting away her stuff, organize her room, etc.”
“While me and our other sister were organizing her room today, we found out that she had a second phone that was tucked under papers in her drawer. When we powered it on, it had, quite literally, two-thousand notifications.”
“A lot of them, based off of her home screen, were things from snapchat, instagram, facebook, etc, but a majority were from this one specific number that didn’t have a name attached to it at all. Just a number.”
The OP’s curiosity got the better of her.
“I guess this might be a tad on the a**hole-side, but me and my sister broke into her phone (she has the same password on everything, and she knew we knew her password, but I’m still wondering if this is an invasion of privacy or not).”
“We did this because we initially thought it was some creep or at least some weird spammer, but after spending the evening scanning through a bunch of messages, we found out that it was actually our sister’s significant other, and they’ve been dating (for what we can tell), a very long time.”
The late sister keeping her relationship a secret made sense with the pronoun the OP used to address this person.
“She never mentioned her to either of us, which makes sense because we’re not supposed to be dating. (My other sister and her are/would be 19, I’m 16. Our parents are just really strict about dating, and they want us to be focused on school.)
“Anyway, from the messages we read, it seems that they really miss her, and have no idea about her death.”
“The last few messages, sent last week, hinted that she thought our sister ghosted her or something.”
The OP and her sibling were conflicted over ethical concerns on how to proceed with this new knowledge.
“Me and my sister got into a fight about whether or not we should message them back and tell them about what happened to our sister.”
“I think that we should, because they obviously seem to still care about our sister and they need the closure, but my sister said we shouldn’t, because it’s what our sister would have wanted and that she must’ve kept her significant other hidden because of this.”
Before getting into Redditors’ responses, the OP clarified a few details.
“I’d like to address a few things I’ve seen in the comments. Yes, my older sisters are both twins, which is why I initially did not want to go against my older sister’s wishes, because I assumed that she would know best what our late sister would want.”
“Second, sorry to not go into specifics, I typed this in a bit of a rut, but my sister’s points were that if she hid her significant other to the point where she wouldn’t tell us, it was likely something that she wanted to keep hidden for a reason, and that we shouldn’t pry.”
“Plus, she later also said that we didn’t know the nature of the relationship or what was going on, (it seemed like the other person loved her a lot, but we didn’t scroll back far enough to see how our sister acted towards them yet.)”
The OP said she still plans to go against the wishes of the surviving twin sister.
“It’s late at night right now, but I’ll probably try to bring this up with my sister again tomorrow. Honestly, if she doesn’t agree with me, I might end up contacting this person regardless, because this really just doesn’t sit right with me the more I think about it.”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
“NAH. Can you imagine loving someone and not hearing from them for a year?”
“Thinking the worst about yourself and your relationship and the reality is, they passed away? They probably passed away loving you.”
“That person really deserves closure. And it might help you and your sister to hear more about this person and what they knew about her. You all have so much to gain from this connection.”
“It will be hard, no doubt, but I think there is a big pay off for all parties involved.” – nun_the_wiser
Tagging on to the above comment, one Redditor advised the OP contact this person by not using the deceased sister’s phone.
“Didn’t even think of this, but this is a great point.”
“How devastating would that be to finally get a message from your girlfriend that you’re worried about, breathe a sigh of relief, then see that she’s died.”
“Plus, this way they won’t be embarrassed realizing that you’ve seen all of their messages.” – agkemp97
The OP continued getting encouragement to make contact.
“As someone who was in a long distance/ online relationship this post is literally my worst nightmare come true.”
“Please, please text the SO, OP. They deserve to know what has happened. They deserve to know your sister did not just abandon them, that she did not ghost them.”
“I am pretty sure she’d want that. I know I would.” – SarkantheDragonboi
“The OP mentioned the significant other is a ‘her’ which is likely the reason the relationship was kept hidden from all of you.”
“Contact the S/O immediately from your number and tell her what happened. At the moment NAH. Your older sister is acting out of grief and likely wanting to preserve the idea of who her twin was.”
“It is painful to learn the people we love have kept secrets from us, especially when you’re not given the chance to ask why. It is obvious that the OPs deceased sister did not want her family to know about her orientation and/or relationship.”
“And while that desire might extend into death it does not mean that she wanted to keep her partner in the dark about her untimely death.” – HidingBehindMyScr33n
“I second this.”
“My best friend who I loved more than life itself disappeared over a year ago; we were like twins. Part of me died not being able to get the closure of knowing if he was dead.”
“The depression and the grief wondering if I did something wrong, with the only comfort being that the last words we told each other were that we loved each other.”
“Please, OP. Please tell them.” – goaterra
They say ignorance is bliss. But the same simply wouldn’t apply here.